Paying It Forward

Source: this site

This is a news release from Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department published verbatim.

In January 2019, Fire Chief John S. Butler traveled to the Republic of Liberia. Fire Chief Butler has made this trip five times since 2012. During each trip, which he pays for out of pocket while using vacation time, Fire Chief Butler lends his time and expertise to help those who live and work in Liberia.

While in Liberia, Fire Chief Butler and other guests of the Liberian Airport Authority toured Roberts International Airport’s fire station, equipment, and new terminal set to open in the Spring.

Fire Chief Butler got hands on as he assisted the Liberian National Fire Service with training for Recruit Class 20 and was honored as the keynote speaker at their graduation.


He met with the President of the Republic of Liberia, George M. Weah, to discuss fire service capacity building and prevention efforts.


However, Fire Chief Butler’s favorite part of his trip was visiting with his friends at Sayklon Orphanage.


Of his continued humanitarian efforts Fire Chief Butler has said, “Like any other circumstances when one lends a helping hand, both the helped and the helper benefits. We learn from each other. We often inspire each other. Most notable is how alike we are, rather than different. Whenever I return from trips such as this, I am reminded of how fortunate we are to have the things we have, infrastructure, and quality of life that we enjoy and most often take for granted. I am also reminded that happiness isn’t related to material things. Some of the happiest people with the most electrifying smiles I’ve ever met were at the orphanage. For me, it is an honor and a privilege to serve others, to share knowledge, skills and talents we’ve been blessed with. Be it here in the local community, or thousands of miles away. We should cherish that servant spirit. The world needs more of it, in my opinion.”